Edith Wharton grew up in New York City and spent most her life there. She met her husband, Edward Wharton there and continued writing other novels as well. Newland is planning to marry the young, beautiful and sheltered May Welland, however when May 's exotic cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska, appears on the scene he begins to question these plans. Throughout The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton uses the social interactions and attitudes of Newland Archer and his friends as a means of weighing society itself.
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Themes in The Age of Innocence
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She looked back on her early years in New York as a time of social continuity, and felt that the passing of values from parent to child had a civilizing influence. However, she also saw the hypocrisy and cruelty practiced by individuals who wore the veneer of respectability. Both of these ideas are seen throughout The Age of Innocence, making it a timeless novel of both the Gilded Age and of social change. Wharton was often critical of the rigidity of the social code, but she saw its purpose of handing down values and replicating culture.
January 5th The Death Of Innocence Characterization is a description of qualities or peculiarities. Throughout the novel, various characters emerge who challenge the strict order of society and while they face a great deal of opposition, they often are far more complex and, more interesting. The Age of Innocence is a story with the happiest of endings. May is considerably plain when compared to her cousin, and.